After finding its first win of the season against Youngstown State in the Progressive Legends Classic subregional round, James Madison will head north again to take on the Miami Redhawks on Saturday, November 24 at noon.
JMU went 1-2 during the PLC subregional round, highlighted by its first win of the season on Tuesday. Freshman guard Charles Cooke knocked down two free throws with eight seconds left in regulation to take a 69-68 lead. Youngstown guard Kendrick Perry missed a jumper at the buzzer, and JMU ran out of Duquesne's Palumbo Center with a win after leading for just 45 total seconds in the game.
Cooke finished with 11 points, and fellow freshman Andre Nation chipped in 10 points and three steals. Senior forward Rayshawn Goins led all scorers with a game-high 21 points and seven rebounds. The Cleveland native will look to add to his team-high 17.5 points per game and nine rebounds per game when he returns to Ohio this weekend.
Goins averaged 15.3 points and 9.7 rebounds during the stay in Pittsburgh to earn All-Tournament laurels. Nation and senior Alioune Diouf contributed 13.0 and 11.7 points per game, respectively. Nation was the lone player in double figures in JMU's 66-44 setback to North Dakota State on Wednesday. He also had 19 points to join four Dukes in double figures in a 90-88 overtime loss to host Duquesne on Monday.
Senior cousins Devon Moore and A.J. Davis will be near their hometown of Columbus, Ohio for Saturday's Miami game. Moore needs six assists to jump from sixth to third on the all-time chart at JMU. He is averaging 7.7 points and 4.3 assists per game. Davis is contributing four points per game in four starts.
The Redhawks are 2-2, though both losses have come against highly-ranked teams. Miami opened its season with a 97-59 loss at then-ranked No. 6 North Carolina State and fell to No. 2 Louisville on November 18. Its most recent game was a 72-59 win over fellow Colonial Athletic Association member William and Mary.
Miami features a deep rotation led by junior guard Allen Roberts and junior forward Bill Edwards. Roberts is averaging 13.5 points per game a season removed from undergoing microfracture surgery to repair damaged cartilage in his right knee. He pulled down seven rebounds in Miami's win over the Tribe, just one shy of his career-high eight boards against JMU on February 19, 2011.
Edwards scores just under 11 points per game and is shooting .500 from beyond the arc so far this season. He started his collegiate career at Penn State, but transferred at the end of his freshman year. After sitting out the 2010-2011 season, he was good for 6.7 points and 5.6 rebounds per game in 2012.
The Dukes will look for continued contributions from their freshmen this weekend. Nation has reached double-digit scoring in three straight games, setting a career-high 19 in Monday's overtime loss to Duquesne at the Legends Classic. Starting freshman guard Ron Curry averaged 6.5 points per game and has only turned the ball over once in the last three games despite playing almost 33 minutes in those matches.
This is the back end of a home-and-home series started in 2011 as part of ESPN's Bracketbusters event. JMU won that game in the Convocation Center 70-69 when Devon Moore made a free throw with 2.9 seconds remaining in regulation. It was the only previous meeting between the two schools.